Plumber & Pipefitter Careers

Plumbers and Pipefitters can earn up to


After the apprenticeship and based on certifications, a journeyperson plumber, fitter, welder or HVACR technician (a qualified and skilled person in a trade), can earn anywhere from $30.00 to $50.00 an hour.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


Employment of plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters is projected to grow 12% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Construction of buildings which need new plumbing systems should drive demand for these workers. Overall job opportunities are expected to be good.

Plumbers, Pipe and Steamfitters, Welders and HVACR Technicians install and repair pipes that carry liquids or gasses to, from and within businesses, homes, and factories.

STEAMFITTER-PIPEFITTERS; Fabricate, assemble, install, maintain, and repair piping systems that transport all types of fluids, slurries, and gas in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Their work is diverse and in fields such as oil refineries, paper mills, nuclear power plants, manufacturing plants, and in the automotive industry. Steamfitter-pipefitters often work on high pressure and high-temperature systems, requiring a thorough knowledge of scientific principles to complete the work safely.

SPRINKLER FITTERS; Install life and property saving fire protection systems in homes, schools, hospitals, office buildings, hotels, and more. As more and more people become aware of the difference these life-saving and property protection systems can make and when new legislation and code changes are implemented there will be more calls for the installation of these systems in new construction, as well as retrofitting of existing structures.

PLUMBERS; Perform work that is essential to the health and safety of our citizens. Plumbers install drinking water, waste and ventilating systems, as well as wastewater treatment systems large and small, in homes, offices, schools, hospitals and manufacturing facilities. With a growing focus on green technologies, water conservation and energy efficiency, the demand for plumbers will increase significantly in the years ahead.

WELDERS; Are found on almost every job site in North America. These skilled workers cut and join a variety of materials, from steel, cast iron and plastic to complex and specialized products used on projects ranging from pipelines and power plants to pharmaceutical and computer chip factories—and more.

HVACR SERVICE TECHNICIANS; Install, maintain and repair plumbing, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. The demand for this expertise is predicted to grow by more than 30 percent in the next several years.

UA apprentices must work the same hours as journeyworkers, plus attend classes. This can be a highly rewarding career path for an individual who is motivated to learn the piping trade. When an applicant is accepted into a UA Local Union apprenticeship program, it is similar to receiving a full-ride, tuition-free scholarship. The learning that takes place in apprenticeship has been assessed by the American Council on Education and other organizations and colleges so that an apprentice can complete an associate of arts or associate of science degree simultaneously with journey-level credentials in the craft of their choice. While learning the trade, they also work for a contractor and earn wages to help support their families. All applicants are evaluated on the same fair basis, without regard to race, sex, national origin or religious affiliation. 

UA apprentices learn through both classroom and on-the-job training in what is considered by many to be the best construction industry apprentice program in the world. The five-year apprenticeship period is divided into one-year segments, each of which includes on-the-job training and related classroom instruction. All UA apprentices receive a strong general education background in the trade, with core courses in basics such as mathematics, mechanical drafting, and related science. At an appropriate juncture, apprentices can choose a specific curriculum to pursue with the goal of becoming a plumber, pipefitter, sprinkler fitter, or service technician in the air conditioning/refrigeration field, or any of the other many service opportunities in the industry.